Sydney lights

I wrote this last week when I was in Sydney, before moving on to Brisbane and Byron Bay, and then home to Taupo, NZ.

Sometimes things are almost more beautiful when they are blurry. Tonight I came back from yoga, at hom in Sydney, a delicious place where the heat from our collective breath steamed the high windows, the 38 degree humidity felt as though it was sinking right into my sweat slicked chest and they sold iced coconut water from a tiny fridge nestled beneath the reception desk.

I walked back to my hostel through the bustling crowds and lights, holding my bag to my side, my steps slow as the warm evening air swirling against my still hot skin. My eyes were still blurry and short sighted from the class, so used to focusing on my breath and staring lazily at my upside down shins through half closed eyelids. As I stepped onto George Street, my breath snatched away as my eyes trailed up, above the crowds across the road. The Town Hall was aglow, its beautiful old stone an exquisite canvas for the light from the projector that was wreathing it in radiant, brilliant patterns of colour.

I stood across the street with my wet hair, marvelling up at the hall as I waited to cross, my eyes not quite picking out the design, but not trying to either. It was as unimportant as it was beautiful. Some others around me ignored the magnificent show, their impatient glances flickering between each of the streetlights, anticipating when they would turn, their clenched hands tight on the straps that held their bags. Eager to get home, I guessed, to wives and boyfriends and new babies and houses that smelt of warm cooking. But many more took photos of the Hall, pointing and smiling in wonder, or turning to friends with delighted, open mouths, their cameras forgotten in their hands.

The streetlights turned and the green man shone across at us, the sound of his tapping feet echoing across the empty, grey expanse of intersection. The rush of people was immense, like the sea, crushing in on each other, hundreds of steps crisscrossing and darting between others. I love crossing the road diagonally. Something about it is so thriving metropolis, so urban, so, Tokyo.

George St, Sydney

It makes me feel the way I am, just one tiny fish in an entirety of a huge melting of culture, insignificant and immensely small. Something about this thought awakens me, enlivens me, instead of being the depressing notion that it sometimes would be, if pondered differently. There is nothing expected of me, nothing to stop me, nothing to hem me in. I just have to live, and be content, and that’s all right with me.

It was only when I got closer that I realised what the design was. Christmas wreathes, green and red and gold, winding their way across the stone façade. It made me smile even more, until I was grinning alone in the street, taking blurry photos with my cassette clad iPhone. I am a Christmas freak. Goes with the territory of having a name like Holly, I suppose.

Tomorrow I will go to see the Opera House and the blue water of the harbour, the green trees nestled amongst the houses of the opposite bank. I have not seen it before, only from the air as we flew in, our plane hanging low above the near suburbs. The gorgeous Harbour Bridge stood proudly above the twinkling blue of the ocean, reminding me, bizarrely, but perhaps expectedly, of Finding Nemo. I smiled looking down at the winding blue, imagining a little clownfish in there, and angry crabs.

Sydney Opera House


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